India Trying To Ape Pakistan, Wants To Turn Bharat Into Hindu Rashtra: Mani Shankar Aiyar

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NEW DELHI: Veteran Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar has stirred the pot once more, asserting that India is mimicking its neighbour Pakistan’s trajectory towards religious nationalism, purportedly aiming to shape ”Bharat” into a ”Hindu Rashtra.” Addressing an event in Lahore on Sunday, Aiyar opined that Pakistan tends to mirror and magnify the gestures of its counterparts, exhibiting excessive warmth in response to friendliness and heightened hostility when faced with animosity.

He expressed admiration for Pakistan, emphasizing the unparalleled warmth and hospitality he encountered during his visits. ”The Pakistanis, from my experience, have been the people who react perhaps overreact to the other side. If we are friendly, they are overfriendly and if we are hostile, they get over hostile, ” Aiyar said, according to a video shared by IANS.

 

 

Aiyar, a vocal critic of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, lauded Pakistan as a nation where he felt genuinely embraced, highlighting the warmth extended to him and his spouse during their stay. He, however, lamented that ”India is trying to ape Pakistan in religious fundamentalism as it wants to turn Bharat into ‘Hindu Rashtra’.”

Reiterating the significance of fostering communication between the two nations, Aiyar emphasized the invaluable role of Pakistani citizens as assets for India. He urged for the maintenance of open channels of dialogue, suggesting the involvement of civil society members, including businessmen, scholars, and students, in facilitating continued interaction beyond governmental barriers.

Reflecting on his tenure as Consul General in Lahore, Aiyar reminisced about the amicable relations and care extended to him and his spouse by the local populace. He underscored the need for a nuanced understanding of Pakistan, as elucidated in his book ‘Memoirs of a Maverick’, which delves into his experiences showcasing Pakistan’s distinctiveness from prevailing Indian perceptions.

This latest controversy involving Aiyar follows closely on the heels of a recent incident where his daughter, Suranya Aiyar, drew criticism for her social media post condemning the ‘Pran Pratishtha’ ceremony at the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya. Suranya Aiyar’s post, expressing solidarity with the Muslim community against perceived Hindu nationalist sentiments, sparked public outcry and reignited debates over communal harmony in India.

As Aiyar’s statements continue to provoke debate and dissent, they underscore the ongoing tensions and ideological divisions within Indian society.



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